John Connolly John Connolly
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MARCH 2015

Dear Folks,

All right now, listen up. This time last year, THE WOLF IN WINTER was just about to be released in the UK, and That Jo Nesbø had the temerity—I know, it's a strong word, and I'm not a man easily roused, but desperate times, etc.—to release his new novel on the same day as my own, thereby forcing poor old Wolf into the No. 2 spot on the Sunday Times Bestseller List.

Fast forward a year, and A SONG OF SHADOWS is about to appear, and—I think you know where I'm going here—That Jo Nesbø is only releasing his book on April 9th as well, which is tantamount to coming over here and stealing one of our women, like his Viking forebears used to do. Don't get me wrong: he's a lovely man, but he's tweaking the lion's nose...

So, British people in particular, this is where you step up to the mark. None of this shilly-shallying and buying my new book in the second or third week, or waiting until July when you're off to Marbella or Playa del Inglés on some Watney's Red Barrel holiday. That's not going to put caviar on my breakfast table. Yes, you may have to feed your kids, but your kids will still be hungry tomorrow, and quite frankly I think you're spoiling them as it is.

Mark my words, now is the time to show the world what the British are made of by heading down to your local bricks-and-mortar bookstore on the 9th, 10th, or 11th of April, and telling them in no uncertain terms that you're showing the true bulldog spirit by buying Irish over Norwegian, thereby making up for centuries of oppression—and Simon Cowell. I know you feel guilty about him. Don't try to deny it.

You can always add in something about my being a beloved literary figure, and a great humanitarian. (I'm not sure what that is, exactly, but I think it's similar to a veterinarian, except for, like, people?) I'm not going to put words in your mouth. You know the form.

And on that note...

A SONG OF SHADOWS on sale April 9 in Ireland, the UK, and Elsewhere...

A Song of Shadows
The thirteenth Charlie Parker novel, A SONG OF SHADOWS, will be available from my U.K. publishers, Hodder & Stoughton, on April 9. That date's really just a guideline, as copies of the book have already been sighted in stores as far away as Brisbane, Australia, and Johannesburg, South Africa. Meanwhile, it's already out in Ireland, and I'll be chatting about it on TV and radio over the coming week. We'll tweet details of those appearances in advance. (Remember: beloved literary figure, great humanitarian.)

A SONG OF SHADOWS finds Charlie recovering from the grievous wounds he sustained in THE WOLF IN WINTER, staying temporarily in a small town on the coast of Maine, where his only neighbors are a single woman, Ruth Winter, and her young daughter, Amanda. Ruth, however, is hiding from the past, and that past is about to catch up with her in a way that will inevitably involve Charlie Parker. If you like, you can read Chapter 1.

The fine booksellers of Waterstones will be offering signed copies of A SONG OF SHADOWS with a companion CD of music, "Shadows." This CD includes tracks by Au Revoir Simone, Wilco, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, Warren Zevon, and more. Copies will also be available at signing events.

If you can't get to a signing, most of the stores hosting signings will gladly take your order for signed books, or you can order one from the mighty Goldsboro Books, which, I note, has a swanky new website. In Ireland, the Gutter Bookshop, No Alibis and Alan Hanna's will also see you right for a signature and a CD.

The US edition of A SONG OF SHADOWS, published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books, will be published in September, and we'll let you know how to order signed copies a little closer to that date. Later this year, Atria will also be publishing new editions of all the Parker novels, complete with introductions.

The Neverending Tour: Ireland, England, Wales, and South Africa

The official launch of A SONG OF SHADOWS happens on Tuesday, March 31 at The Gutter Bookshop in Dublin at 6:30 p.m. No tickets are required, but it may get a little crowded. Later in the week, I will be at the Ulster Museum as the guest of No Alibis Bookstore, on Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. That event does require a ticket, but the ticket is free, and you can get it from the lovely Dave Torrans at No Alibis. I will be dropping in to the Waterstones in Drogheda around 1:00 p.m. on Good Friday, April 3, for an informal signing. That means you don't have to listen to me talk, despite my status as a belo— well, you know. I don't want to labour the point...

The UK tour—or rather, the tour of England and Wales, as sadly I won't be in Scotland this time around—begins on Thursday, April 9, with an informal visit to Waterstones in Southport. From there it's a bit of a rush—19 events in nine days, a combination of formal talks and drop-in signing, with the complete schedule here. Because my schedule is so packed this time around, I'm going to push on to the next town immediately after each event, and will not be able to stay on for drinks, etc. into the night. Sorry about that, but it means you'll get home and be able to start reading right away. Also, my doctor will sleep better for not having to worry about me, and my liver will heave a spasm of relief.

Most of the formal events in England and Wales will be ticketed, so please do check the schedule for details; you'll find links to ticketing information wherever they're required. I'm happy to sign whatever you bring along, but the bookstores set their own rules, so please ask in advance if you plan to bring personal books to a signing.

The South Africa tour begins on Tuesday, April 21, and takes in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town:

Tuesday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m.
The South African launch of A SONG OF SHADOWS
Exclusive Books Rosebank Mall
50 Bath Avenue
Johannesburg 2194
011 447 8832
Tickets are free, but RSVP with a call or email to

Wednesday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Jenny & Co. Dinner with John Connolly
The Stanley Beer Yard
44 Stanley, Milpark
Cost: R380/person, includes dinner
Book tickets by email to or by phone at 076 780 6383

Thursday, April 23 at 6:00 p.m.
John Connolly discusses and signs A SONG OF SHADOWS
Books & Books
Suite 22, Kensington Square
Durban North
031 563 6288
Tickets are free, but RSVP with a call or email to

Wednesday, April 29 at 6:00 p.m.
John Connolly discusses and signs A SONG OF SHADOWS
The Book Lounge
71 Roeland Street (Cnr Buitenkant)
Cape Town
021 462 2425
Tickets are free, but RSVP with a call or email to

Other Voices, Other Rooms

Last month I sat down with Renaissance man Andrew Mangan for a long conversation about books, music and other things, which you can hear as part of his 738AM podcast. You can also read a short interview about music and me with Derek Flynn for—or if you'd rather read about my partner Jennifer Ridyard's musical interests, you can do so here.


In the last newsletter I mentioned a second volume of short stories, to be published later this year. This book has been renamed NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2, and will be available in October in the UK and in November in the US. It collects some pieces that have appeared in other formats over the last nine years, but the majority of the 17 tales in the collection are new, including a second story set in the world of the Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository.

And just wait until you see the UK and US covers...

Regardless of where I am in the world, my Internet radio show, ABC to XTC, continues weekly on RTE 2XM, where you can listen on Tuesdays, Saturdays or anytime using the RTE Player. While I'm on the road, you can follow me on Twitter Reminders about events—including any changes—will be posted to the Facebook page, where Minion Clair looks after things.

And with that I bid you a fond adieu, and remind you that Ireland has given you Guinness. (But we're very sorry about Westlife. And Boyzone.) Norway has given you aquavit. I rest my case.

Yours (beloved, etc.)


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